Our Blog Provides Information About Rodents and Wildlife Removal. Call Us For An Estimate.

rodent solutions (6)

Rodents In Your House

How does a rodent get into the house and what will it do once it gets in? 

Rats can wiggle their way into gaps and holes as small as a ½ inch. And if the hole is not yet ½-inch big, the rat can gnaw at it until it is. Mice can squeeze in through holes as small as ¼ inch. And, like rats, mice will chew and gnaw at smaller holes until they are big enough to wriggle through.

Additionally, both rats and mice prefer warmth over cold. This means that when the weather outside starts to turn cold, rats and mice will turn to houses and other buildings. And the more food and water they can find once they are inside, the more likely it is that the population will quickly grow.

It can be quite unpleasant and disgusting to see a rat or mouse in the house, but even worse than that, rodents can cause damage with their gnawing, nest-making, and urinating, and they also can spread disease. 

Once a rodent gets into a home, it will:

Search out Food
Before or after making its nest depending on how hungry it is, the rodent will roam your home in search of food.

As it roams, it will urinate and drop its feces along its path - contaminating everything along the way. If it makes its way to your pantry or other food storage area, it is likely to walk on the food and food packaging, so that next time you touch it, you are touching its urine trail as well.

Rodents will chew through the packaging to get to food, with teeth that are very sharp, enabling it to chew through boxes and bags you may think are safe.

Once a rat or mice gets into the food, it can be the source of foodborne illness, such as salmonellosis, which is transmitted when a person eats or drinks food or water that is contaminated by rodent feces and causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. According to CDC, certain rodents can also directly transmit diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, Lassa Fever, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM), Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Plague, Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, South American Arenaviruses, and Tularemia.

Seek Water
Rodents need water to survive. Some foods will provide them with some water, but they will also need free water such as the water in the bowl left on the floor for your cat or dog; in the base of a potted plant; or even in a slow-draining tub or sink.

You may wish that it were only an old wives' tale but it is true that rats can swim through sewers and come up through toilet bowls or other drains. It is not a common occurrence, but it can happen.

Make Rodent Babies
Rodents are prolific breeders, so populations can build very quickly in a home or building if the rats or mice have sufficient food, water, and shelter.

Rats: Each female can have up to 7 litters in 1 year, with up to 14 young in each litter. Rats are full-grown in about 4 weeks, which means that quite a few generations can be born in a single year - from each female of the litter. Mice: The house mouse can have up to 10 litters in a single year with about 6 young in each litter. (But there can be as many as 12 mice in a single litter!) They are full-grown to adulthood within 7 weeks, so, again, if conditions are ideal, a mouse population can explode in just a few months.

Read more…

Do you have a rodent problem?

Do you have a rodent problem? 

Here are some signs and tips for determining whether you have a rodent infestation in your home:

Rodent Droppings
New droppings are dark and moist. As droppings age, they dry out and become old and gray and will easily crumble if touched. Droppings are most likely to be found near food packages, in drawers or cupboards, under sinks, in hidden areas, and along rodent runways. You will find the greatest number of droppings where the rodents are nesting or feeding, so inspect the area around the new-found droppings to determine if there is still an active – or new – infestation.

Animal Gnawing
In contrast to the droppings, newer gnaw marks will be lighter in color and become darker as they age. These will often be found on food packaging or the structure of the house itself. One way to determine age is to compare a gnaw mark you just noticed with those on a similar material that you know are older. If the newly found marks are lighter in color, it could be an indication of a continuing infestation.

The marks can also indicate whether you have rats or mice; larger gnaw marks will have been produced by the larger teeth of rats. Thus if you had a mouse infestation, but are now seeing larger gnaw marks, you may now have rats. And vice versa.

Foul Odor
Cats and dogs (or even a pet rat or mouse), may become active and excited in areas where rodents are present.

This is a result of the odor of the rodents and is most likely to occur when rodents have recently entered a structure. If you see your pet pawing at an area in which it had previously had no interest, get a flashlight and examine the area for rats or mice.  If an infestation is large, you may also detect an ongoing stale smell coming from hidden areas, indicating an active infestation.

Rodent Tracks and Runways
If rodents are currently active in or around your home, their runways and tracks are likely to be distinctive, becoming fainter as time passes. Tracks or runways are most easily detected with a flashlight or blacklight held at an angle toward the suspected area. You may see smudge marks, footprints, urine stains, or droppings. If you suspect an area is being frequented by rodents, try placing a very thin layer of flour or baby powder there. If rodents are active, you are likely to see their trails in the powder.

Rodent Nests
Rodents will use materials such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter to make their nests. If these areas are found and have any of the other signs of current presence – fresh droppings, gnawing, odor or tracks – it is likely that there is an infestation in your home.

Signs of Rodents in your Yard
Rodents are attracted to piles of trash, organic waste, etc. for both food and nesting. If these are present near the home or structure, inspect them for signs of rodents. If there is no indication of rodents, it is likely that they are not coming into your home either. But if you do have such piles present, eliminating them can help prevent future rodent problems.

Rodent Population Size
Certain signs can also indicate the size of a population. If rodents are seen at night but never during the day, the population has probably not gotten too large and can be controlled with traps and bait. If you are seeing any rodents during the day, numerous fresh droppings or new gnaw marks, it is likely that the population has gotten quite large and require professional services.

Read more…

Rodent Removal Recommendations

Seeing even one rat in your house can mean that there is a whole family (with babies, aunts, uncles, and other family) of rodents living in your home's basement, the walls, or in and between stored items. This is because rats are most active at night when you are less likely to see them.

It is always best to call a rodent professional and extermination expert who has extensive knowledge and tools to know where the rodents will be and how to get them out of the house -- and provide recommendations to keep them out!

When you do work with a licensed professional, there will be a number of things you need to do to prepare for service, to ensure the treatment is as effective and long-lasting as possible.

Prior to performing this, or any service, the licensed professional will generally provide you with a specific list of preparation activities, "prep," to be completed before they arrive.

The following lists some of the most common requests or recommendations made by service companies.

Because a lack of preparation could make a treatment unsafe or cause rodent reinfestation of the entire home or building, many technicians will not treat areas that are not prepared to specifications.

Preparation Steps
You can help your rodent professional rid your home of a mouse or rat problem by completing the following steps prior to service:

Make sure that all food that is not in a can or jar is stored in the refrigerator or heavy plastic container during service, and for at least two weeks afterward. This includes chips, candies, nuts, cereals, bread, any grain-based food, pet foods, etc., that are normally stored in upper or lower cabinets, on counter tops, or on top of the refrigerator. Although usually bagged, rodents can chew right through plastic bags to get to foods.

Repair any holes in walls, around baseboards, or doors that don’t seal properly  This is because rodents can enter through gaps as small as 1/4 inch and rats through holes as small as 1/2 inch in diameter.

Remove all items from the top of the refrigerator and from beneath the kitchen sink to allow access to these areas.

When the technician arrives, discuss the situation making note of areas where rodents or signs of rodents have been seen.

The technician may be setting and placing a variety of baits and traps. Do not touch or disturb these during or after the service.

For ongoing control, clean, sweep and vacuum the home regularly. Take out the trash on a regular basis, keep lids on trash cans, and keep all areas as clean as possible.

Eliminate any unnecessary storage including boxes, paper, and clothing, because rodents (and other pests) will take shelter here, gnaw the items to make their nests, and even breed in undisturbed areas.

When you follow the steps listed above, the technician can more effectively rid your home of the problem. And it is more likely that you will be able to maintain a rodent-free home.

Read more…

Bats in Panama live their lives on the edge of starvation. They fly all night in search of fig juice—burning precious fuel in the process—and if they fail, they can die. Now, ecologists have uncovered the secret of the bats’ success: They radically change their heart rates, revving them up like a human sprinter when flying, and damping them down like a long-distance runner when resting.

“These bats have found a way to function at both extremely high levels of energy and very low levels,” says Kyle Elliott, an ecophysiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who was not involved with the work. “This is very unusual in animals.” Most lower their heart rate so drastically only for extended periods of time, such as when they’re hibernating, he notes.

To conduct the study, researchers led by Teague O’Mara, an ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, outfitted four Uroderma bilobatum bats—mouse-sized creatures that build “resting tents” out of giant leaves—with miniaturized heart monitors. Each night, he and his colleagues chased after the animals, crashing through the jungle holding big antennas that let them hear as the bat heartbeats sped up and slowed down.

The heart rates were quite high—between 791 and 1066 beats per minute—when they were flying. That’s not quite a record, as blue-throated hummingbirds can reach 1260 beats per minute, and Etruscan shrews top out at about 1500 beats per minute (humans peak at about 240 beats per minute). But it’s nonetheless impressive, because the bats are much bigger, with bigger hearts to empty and fill, says Charles Bishop, a zoologist specializing in animal genetics at Bangor University in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.

But the big surprise was that when the bats were resting, their hearts periodically slowed down sharply, O’Mara and colleagues report this week in eLife. Several times each hour, the bats lowered their already slowed heart rates from about 300 beats per minute down to 200 beats per minute for about 6 minutes. Over the course of a day this saves 10% of their daily energy budget, the researchers report. “This could be the difference between life and death over a season,” Bishop says.

To find out how quickly the bats burn energy, the team fed Uroderma in the lab agave nectar, which has a relatively high proportion of a different kind of carbon atom compared to fig juice. They then measured the bats’ breath to see how fast that carbon was converted to carbon dioxide. They also measured levels of the hormone cortisol, which affects energy expenditure.

The tests suggest just how close to the edge these bats live. It takes the animals only about 8 minutes to begin to burn up the agave nectar and breathe out those unusual carbon atoms, O’Mara reports. Moreover, that meal made half their fat reserves by the next day. “They need all that energy to make their muscles go so they can cover the distances they need,” O’Mara says. “If they don’t find food that day, they are going to be in big trouble.”

“The study does a great job of integrating the physiological measurements in the lab with what is happening in the wild,” Elliot says. “There are very, very few studies that do that.”

The ability of these animals to drastically slow their heart rate is remarkable, he adds. “One moment they are a Mercedes tearing up the race track and chewing through fuel, the next they are a Mazda 3 going down the highway with maximum fuel economy.”

Article source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/avoid-starving-bat-varies-its-heart-rate-1000-200-beats-minute

Read more…

Instead of building a better mouse trap, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a better mouse cage. They've created a system called EnerCage (Energized Cage) for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wirelessly powers electronic devices and sensors traditionally used during rodent research experiments, but without the use of interconnect wires or bulky batteries. Their goal is to create as natural an environment within the cage as possible for mice and rats in order for scientists to obtain consistent and reliable results. The EnerCage system also uses Microsoft's Kinect video game technology to track the animals and recognize their activities, automating a process that typically requires researchers to stand and directly observe the rodents or watch countless hours of recorded footage to determine how they react to experiments.

The wirelessly energized cage system was presented this month at the International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) in Orlando, Florida.

The Georgia Tech EnerCage is wrapped with carefully oriented strips of copper foils that can inductively power the cage and the electronics implanted in, or attached to, one or more animal subjects inside the cage. The system can run indefinitely and collect data without human intervention because of wireless communication and power transmission.

"It's always better to keep an animal in its natural settings with minimum burden or stress to improve the quality of an experiment," said Maysam Ghovanloo, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who developed the EnerCage. "Anything that is abnormal or unnatural may bias the experiment, no matter what experiment in any field. That includes grabbing the animal to attach or detach wires, change batteries or transferring it from one cage to another."

Ghovanloo uses four resonating copper coils to create a homogenous magnetic field inside the cage. The built-in closed loop power control mechanism supplies enough power to compensate for all freely behaving animal subject activities, whether they're standing up, crouching down, or walking around the cage. The small headstage for the animal is also wrapped with resonators to deliver power to a receiver coil.

The Kinect is suspended about three feet above the cage. It has a high-definition camera, an infrared depth camera, and four microphones to record and analyze the animal behavior. It can capture both a two-dimensional high-resolution image of a rat's location and a three-dimensional image that would identify its body posture.

"We're building computer algorithms to determine if the animal is standing, sitting, sleeping, grooming, eating, drinking or doing nothing," said Ghovanloo. "We're hoping to reduce the expensive costs of new drug and medical device development by allowing machines to do mundane, repetitive tasks now assigned to humans." The Georgia Tech team is working in partnership with Emory University, hoping to impact the clinical efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS). A growing number of clinical trials are using DBS to treat disorders of the central nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to the clinical efficacy of DBS remain largely unknown, however.

Emory's Donald (Tig) Rainnie and his research team use freely moving rodent models to examine the effects of DBS on neural circuits thought to be disrupted in depression. They have tested the EnerCage system.

"The requirement to use a tethered headstage to record neural data and apply the DBS has hindered progress in this field," said Rainnie, a researcher at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. "We provided critical feedback, via beta testing of the EnerCage system, on how to maximize the utility of the system for different behavioral applications. We found a key advantage of the EnerCage system is that it will allow researchers to conduct chronic DBS and track associated behavioral changes for days, if not weeks, without disturbing the test animals."

Until now, Rainnie says, that hasn't been possible, and it is key to understanding the long-term benefits of DBS in patients.

The next steps at Georgia Tech are designing EnerCage-compatible implants, such as one for delivering drugs, and expanding the system to a network of dozens of cages that can collect data from multiple animals at the same time.

Read more…